July 6, 2020: Today sees the publication of NISO RP-30-2020, Manuscript Exchange Common Approach (MECA) Recommended Practice — an open protocol for the transfer of manuscripts within and between manuscript systems. As well as developing a common vocabulary, the MECA Working Group has also made specific recommendations for transmitting, identifying, and packaging the content being transferred.
An estimated 15 million hours are currently wasted each year repeating reviews for articles that have been rejected — not to mention the additional time spent re-submitting those articles. The MECA Recommended Practice, which incorporates feedback from the community, will improve this frustrating and time-consuming experience for authors, reviewers, and publishers alike. It covers the transfer of manuscripts and/or reviews between submission systems, between preprint and submission systems, from authoring systems to submission systems, and from submission systems to services such as post-acceptance processing systems.
Tony Alves, Director of Product Management, Aries Systems, and co-chair of the Working Group, noted, "The MECA Recommended Practice will alleviate some significant pain points for researchers, publishers, and service providers. We welcome NISO's publication of our recommendations and hope that they will be widely adopted and implemented by our community."
The second co-chair, Stephen Laverick, Director, Green Fifteen Publishing Consultancy, added, "We are grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on the draft recommendations. We believe that they will make the publishing process more efficient, to the benefit of everyone working with production systems, preprint servers, and authoring services."
NISO Executive Director, Todd Carpenter, commented, "The MECA Recommended Practice is the result of many months of hard work by Tony, Stephen, and the Working Group. We thank everyone for their contributions, and strongly encourage our community to adopt their recommendations."
The MECA Recommended Practice is now freely available to the community.
NISO, based in Baltimore, Maryland, fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information standards. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit the NISO website (https://niso.org).